Daily Devotional Bible Verses
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV)
The last couple years of my life have been pretty rough, filled with chaos, change and a burdensome feeling of uncertainty about the future. As hard as I tried, I could not escape the overwhelming feeling of stress and the presence of worry in most aspects of my life. I worried about my struggling business, my teenage sons and the decisions they would make, and even my status in the community. Truth is, I worried about everything. Even though I had clearly lived a blessed life, I still found myself always anticipating that next piece of bad news.
Several years ago, a spiritual mentor suggested that I take all my worries and entrust them to God. He told me that I, alone, could not overcome my worries and doubts. He reminded me that only God had the power to change things in my life and only God understood the purpose for my trials and tribulations. I knew that I loved God dearly, but I struggled desperately with the thought of actually trusting God to take control of my problems. I had worked diligently to achieve success and had been so strategic in mapping out the next few steps in my life plan. What if God’s plans were different from my own? What if God told me that he wanted me to give up the business I had worked so hard to build and start working in the local homeless shelter? Trusting God would require me to give up control and make way for God’s plan. The thought of this terrified me.
In a moment of complete despair and vulnerability, I finally surrendered and gave my worries to God. Almost instantaneously, I felt a sense of liberation. I found an amazing peace in accepting the fact that my problems were now God’s opportunities. The fractured pieces of my life soon fell into place, and I was filled with a new sense of joy and contentment. All I had to do was move aside and give God the steering wheel. I quickly realized that my almighty Father had always been in charge of my life and that my struggles with worry and doubt only emerged during those seasons where I stubbornly insisted upon being in control.
James tells us that enduring life’s trials produces perseverance. Whether we are coping with the loss of a loved one, trying to overcome an addiction or simply trying to live our lives based on our own set of plans, our struggles to overcome these challenges will build our faith, indeed making it more mature and complete. The best news is that this perseverance leads to enlightenment and a renewed awareness that placing our trust in God makes even the roughest waters seem like smooth sailing.
What can you do today to start putting your complete trust in God?
Guest devotion by Fred Parry. Fred lives in Columbia, Missouri where he works as a magazine publisher and an elected County Commissioner. He is the founder of the CoMo Christian Men’s Conference and the publisher of Columbia Christian magazine.